Bose has done a good job with its first pair of truly wireless earbuds, but they’re not as sporty as we expected.
Wireless earbuds are quickly becoming one of the most popular types of headphones, especially with so many smartphones ditching the traditional jack output.
Bose already make some of the most popular wireless headphones in the QC35 but the SoundSport Free are cheaper headphones at $249.
That’s not a bad price in the wider market with the Jabra Elite Sport going for an RRP of $249. However, you can already pick them up via some retailers, coincidentally, at $179. For reference, the Apple Airports will set you back $159.
DESIGN AND BUILD:
Wireless earbuds come in various different shapes and sizes, with some being remarkably small. Others are more chunky and that’s the case with the SoundSports Free in-ears as they have rather large bodies that stick out of the ear a fair way.
It depends how self-conscious you are as to whether you will feel comfortable wearing them. They come in three colour options: Black, Midnight Blue(Pictured) and Bright Orange.
Like previous Bose headphones, the comfort is partly down to the cleverly designed tips which include a fin that fits into the upper ridge of the ear. These StayHear+ Sports tips work really well and you get three sizes in the box.
As with the Elite Sport, the SoundSport, the SoundSport Free are aimed at those wanting in-ears to use while running or working out in the gym-of course, you can just use them for regular use if you like.
Those who do want o use them for fitness activities will benefit from the IPX4 rating which means they can deal with sweat and a bit of rain.
BATTERY LIFE AND CHARGING:
The last thing to mention design wise is the built-in buttons. The left earbud has a single button for pairing while the right has volume controls that straddle a multi-function button for controlling music playback as well as answering calls.
It’s a perfectly good system but the buttons, as we found with the Elite Sport, are easy to locate but difficult to press.
Having the buttons on top does mean you can squeeze between two fingers which is much nicer than the Elite Sports setup where you end up pushing the earbud painfully into your ear canal.
SOUND QUALITY AND FEATURES:
One of the reasons the Bose SoundSport Free in-ears have large buds is because of sound quality in understandably important to the company. Years of consumers expecting premium audio can’t be ditched for earbuds.
Before we get to that, we’d like to applaud Bose for making a pair of wireless earbuds that not only connect to a phone without any fuss but more importantly maintain a stable connection.
Bose says it has worked hard on designed the Bluetooth antenna for this and t, along with the way they stick out of your ear, seems to have paid off.
It’s worth mentioning that despite the sport-focused design, the SoundSport Free in-ears actually lack specific fitness features such as any activity tracking, a heart rate monitor or any kind of fitness software.
These are things you can get with the Jabra Elite Sport so it’s a little odd not to see similar here. They might well be a better choice if you’re looking for this kind of thing.
Bose to sound quality and the SoundSport Free are among the best sounding wireless earbuds we’ve tested. Bose doesn’t provide any details on the specs like drives size but they sound great regardless.
BOSE SOUND SPORTS FREE: SPECS
- SoundSport Free wireless headphones
- Portable charging case
- 3 sizes of StayHear+ Sports
- USB cable
- Headphones 3.12cm H x 2.5cm W x 3cm D (9g each)
- Case 3.75cm H x 10cm W x 4.75cm D(80g)
- Built well
- Very good bass response
- Good battery life
- IPX4 sweat proof
- Sound leaks
- Buttons are stiff
The Bose SoundSport Free is truly wireless and sounds really good, but unfortunately, might not be attractive to a lot of people due to its high price. The earbuds look great, are comfortable to wear and sweat-proof, and they also produce well-balanced sound. Bass response is especially good for earbuds with this sort of ear tip design. Overall, the Bose SoundSport Free is a good buy if have the budget for it.